Fulfills General Requirement in Arts and Letters
This is an introduction to literary study through the works of Shakespeare. We will read nine or ten of the major plays and perhaps occasional sonnets, in order to develop an understanding of Shakespeare's time, theatre and thought and of his extraordinary influence and reputation with later generations and in our own thing. The class will begin with a discussion of the film Shakespeare in Love (screenplay by Tom Stoppard) and then proceed to discuss several of the histories, comedies, tragedies and "problem plays." In each case (after Stoppard) a close reading of the text will be required, and we may also look at recent performances as modern interpretations. In addition to the regular class webcasts, there will be required participation in the threaded discussion between classes. There will be several short papers, quizzes and a final exam (for which a longer paper may be substituted).